Filipinos urged to honor veteran’s legacy, sacrifices

2023 April 3

DND chief Carlito Galvez Jr. (Photo courtesy of DND)

MANILA – Department of National Defense (DND) chief Carlito Galvez Jr. on Monday reminded all Filipinos, especially the youth, to take time in honoring the nation’s veterans.

“Let us take this opportunity to pay tribute to our nation’s patriots and freedom fighters, honor our present-day defenders, and prepare the youth for the two-fold task of securing our nation and ensuring its bright future,” Galvez said during flag-raising rites at the DND headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

This is in line with the observance of Philippine Veterans Week from April 5 to 12 and Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor) on April 9.

Highlighting the theme of this year’s observance “Kagitingan ng mga Beterano, Pundasyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino,” Galvez reminded the members of the One Defense Team to actively participate in the series of commemorative and special events spearheaded by the DND and the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office, to memorialize the valor and heroic deeds of the Filipino veterans.

“As the designated chairperson of the Technical Working Committee for the observance of the Philippine Veterans Week, I humbly request everyone for your strong support to make the commemoration meaningful through your active participation onsite, online, or by actively liking, commenting, and sharing relevant posts via social media,” he added.

Galvez also urged parents to teach their children and the youth love of country and its history so they can better understand the sacrifices made by Filipino veterans and soldiers.

Galvez likewise reaffirmed his unwavering support for those who practice the Christian faith, particularly the Catholics, in their meaningful observance of this year’s Holy Week which coincides with the celebration of Philippine Veterans Week.

“During the Lenten break, may we empathize with the suffering of our fellowmen and find profound meaning in the death of Jesus Christ. It is my fervent hope that all these will help foster social healing, reconciliation, and national unity for nation-building – these are what our veterans lived and died for, especially during that fateful Good Friday when they conquered the infamous Bataan Death March. Our veterans did what they needed to do for the country, for the younger generations, and for everyone – including us,” Galvez stated.

April 9 of every year, by virtue of Executive Order 203 signed in 1987, is “Araw ng Kagitingan” to honor the thousands of Filipino and American forces who fought for the country’s liberty and democracy.

On April 9, 1942 or after 93 days of resistance, an estimated 60,000 Filipino and American troops were taken prisoners of war by the Japanese.

This year, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. declared April 10, Monday, a regular holiday in observance of “Araw ng Kagitingan”.

Priam Nepomuceno